Vodafone Makes MAJOR Play for UK

Cable & Wireless shareholders approved Vodafone’s (NASDAQ:VOD) 1 billion-pound bid to acquire the company after Canadian firm Orbis, which holds a 19 percent stake in CWW, dropped its opposition to the deal.

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Orbis’ volte face just before the count, supporting Vodafone’s offer of 38 pence a share, led to a final voting tally of 87 percent of shareholders in favor of the deal — much higher than the statutory threshold of 75 percent.

Orbis explained its decision saying, “Opposition would only serve to prolong the process.” Shares of CWW rose about 8 percent to 37.8 pence a share after the decision by Orbis.

With the acquisition of CWW, Vodafone becomes the UK’s second-largest telecom service after BT. Vodafone is likely to sell CWW’s portfolio of about 260,000 miles of undersea cables, realizing an estimated 500 million pounds in the process. CWW’s 12,738 mile fiber network in the UK is expected to mesh well into Vodafone’s network of base stations, providing economical and fast data traffic as mobile bandwidth demand expands.

Vodafone is also likely to shed jobs and administrative offices in overlapping areas, though specific details are not yet available.

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